Financial Fitness

As we approach the summer holiday, many of you will be wanting to get your overseas finances in order, or perhaps you just want to transfer some money to friends and family abroad. How do you move money overseas? Never thought about it? That’s how the banks like it!

In 2016 UFIT partnered with World First, an award-winning international payments and currency exchange company. World First guarantee the best service, great rates and a simple, easy-to-use online platform for all your international transfers. Even better, they’re fully licensed by the MAS here in Singapore and charge zero fees for private clients!

They already help thousands of expats move their money to and from their homeland - including many UFIT staff and clients - and are here to make your international transfers faster, cheaper and easier than the banks.

Benefits of using World First

  • Great exchange rates and zero transfer fees for private clients
  • A dedicated account manager for every client
  • Rate alerts, firm orders and market updates to help you achieve your target rate
  • An easy-to-use online system that’s live 24/7
  • Every call answered within 3 rings
  • Free to register and no obligation to transaction

Get in touch!

So, whether you’re sending money overseas to pay your mortgage, buy the holiday house you’ve been dreaming of, or sending school fees to cover the kids’ university, World First can help.

Click here to read more about World First or open an account
Still have a few questions? Give them a call on +65 6805 4370 and one of their friendly team will pick up within three rings – how refreshing!

They love visitors too, so you can always pop into their office at 99A Amoy Street, just down the road from our Amoy Street gym!

YOUR SUMMER HOLIDAY WORKOUT

Everyone needs a holiday, so how do you keep your fitness levels up whilst on holiday and not die at Bootcamp or your Personal Training when you come back?

Two of our coaches give their top five must-do, all-time classic exercises and Physiotherapy stretches for whether you are outdoors, in the gym or in your hotel room. 

OUTDOOR AND BODY WEIGHT EXERCISES

Marcus Fam, UFIT Bootcamp Coach

1. Lunges

Not only does working the legs expend more calories due to recruiting a higher amount of motor units, who doesn't want to have nice legs?

 Try incorporating lunges in sprint intervals as part of your active recovery. Always keep your chest and shoulders upright, and your spine in neutral while lunging. As with all resistance exercises, the focus should be on the muscles, not the joints. Perform to a full range of motion and avoid bouncing or jerking. If your legs are burning, congratulations, keep going!

 2. Sprints

Lots of bootcampers are ace runners, but for those who aren't keen to clock in 10km runs or more, give a go at sprinting. So we're not talking about aerobic running. Full on anaerobic sprints that leave you gasping for air and leave your legs jelly. Try 60m - 200m sprints. 8 sets, with no more than 3 minute rest periods. If you have a hill, spectacular, knock yourself out!

With the added benefit of building muscle along with speed, sprinting helps you build and define your glutes, hamstrings and quads, while at the same time burning off the fat layers that hide under the muscles. Sprint training is the most explosive training you can do.

 3. Burpees

There's a reason why bootcampers groan when they hear the sheer mention of the word. It's perhaps the most compound of exercises and combines a squat, push up, squat thrust & plyometric jump all in one. It’s great for cardiovascular fitness and strength training. Try doing 100 a day, throughout the day.  Nothing like having burpees for breakfast!

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 4. Push ups

This gets on the list not just because of its simplicity, but also because of the fact that it allows various degrees of intensity.

Always maintain a strong core and neutral lower back. Bring your chest to the ground and use your chest and triceps to push yourself off the ground. If you're strong enough, push the earth away from you. Also if you're upto it be brave and try some variations!

5. Mountain climbers

Another top exercise which hits various body parts, including the core. Try hitting a set of 20 reps immediately after push ups. Always maintain a neutral spine, and tight core throughout the exercise (hips should not be moving up and down).

A variation of this would be to draw the knee to the opposite elbow (left knee to right elbow, vice versa) for greater recruitment of the obliques.

If performed correctly, mountain climbers will not just get your core firing - but triceps, hip flexors and shoulder stabilisers smashed as well.

 

STRETCHES TO GET YOUR BODY MOVING

Maire, UFIT Clinic Physiotherapist

1. Hip rotations and lower back stretch

Lay on your back, put your arms out in a “T” position and bend both knees bent to 90’. Keeping knees and ankles together, gently rotate knees to one side and turn head to loot to the opposite side. Slowly de-rotate and repeat same stretch to the other side. Move slowly and with an exhale breath. Hold the stretch for 3-5 breaths and do 3 repetitions on each side.

2. Lower back stretch

This is a little more intense that the above stretch. Lay in the same position as above. But instead take one knee into your chest and then slowly rotate that knee across your body and over to the other side. Try to keep the opposite shoulder down. Hold this position for 3-5 breaths and repeat on the other side. Do 3 times on each side.

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3. Thoracic (mid-back) extensions

This stretch can be done over a foam roller if you’re flexible and over a rolled up towel if you’re a little stiffer.

  • Lay down on your back and palce the foam roller or rolled up towel behind you, around your mid-back (bra line for women and nipple line for men).

  • Place hands behind your head to support your head and gently tuck your chin.

  • Inhale to prepare and exhale to extend your mid-back over the foam roller or towel whilst maintaining your chin tuck.

  • If using the foam roller, then stay in this position for an inhale, then on your exhale gently curl back up using your abdominals into your starting position. And repeat this exercise 3 times at this spinal level.

  • But if using the rolled up towel, then stay in this extended position for at least 1 minute with arms rested on the floor and take nice big deep breaths. Then place hands behind head again and curl back up into a seated position.

4. Hip flexor stretch

  • Kneel on one knee on an exercise mat, or cushion if you’ve any knee problems.

  • Tuck your tailbone under as if tightening your butt.

  • Stretch up the same sided arm up to the sky and feel a stretch down through the front of the thigh and hip.

  • Hold for 3-5 deep breaths and repeat on the other side.  

5. Glute stretch – seated

  • Sitting upright on your chair, cross your ankle over your opposite knee and pull close to your hip.

  • Straighten your back again and then lean forward into the stretch.

  • Hold for 3-5 breaths keeping back straight. Repeat on the other side.

And then of course, you can discover a new city by running around in it or pack your skipping rope and stretch band to get you moving even more.

stay tuned for our next article on weight and crossfit training During your holidays. 

Have a good one!

 

MIXING IT UP: WHY CROSS-TRAINING IS SO GOOD FOR YOU

You've done your favourite workouts regularly for years, and think you're in pretty good shape. But when a less athletic friend suggests you go skating along the east coast, you're shocked that you can't keep up.

By incorporating different styles of training into your workout routine - eg mixing bootcamps with some weight-based personal training in the gym and endurance activities such as running, you are setting yourself up to be an excellent all-rounder:

It keeps you motivated

No matter how much passion you have for one type of training, if you do it often enough or with excessive repetition it will become boring. Cross-training helps you maintain your enthusiasm whilst you train better and more consistently.

Anything you can do to increase your motivation to exercise is worth doing. For example, if you don’t feel like doing a MetCon session today, but would be perfectly happy doing a yoga session or just feel like some bodyweight work, then do a bootcamp instead! You'll end up better off than the person who is lacking motivation or does nothing at all.

You improve your whole body fitness

While professional athletic trainers used to believe it was important to work mostly on those muscles directly relating to a particular sport or activity, it is now known that cross training to engage other parts of the body and regenerate overused ones is a much better approach. All sorts of professional athletes, from rugby players to tennis players to swimmers include some kind of cross-training in their regime.

Also including a variety of activity into your routine ensures you will be more functionally active. For example, climbing stairs, bending down to pick up your child or taking the dog for a walk takes much less effort when you're balanced and functionally fit.

Injury Prevention

When we do the same training style repeatedly our body doesn't always get a chance to fully recover between sessions. For example, if you run a lot your ankles, knees, and lower back will take a beating and you should mix that up with strength work to get more out of your related muscle groups and take the pressure off your most vulnerable joints, muscles, and connective tissues.

If you’ve just completed a big race or event after a rigorous training program, doing a completely different style of training will allow your mind and body to have a break and any over-used muscles to rejuvenate.

Rehabilitation

When an overuse injury does develop, cross-training comes to the rescue by helping you maintain your fitness despite forcing you to correct the cause of the injury. So if you’re in the frustrating position of not being able to train as normal just yet, you can modify your training to maintain your fitness and keep your sanity intact. If you’ve injured your ankle at bootcamp you can work on getting that toned upper body you’ve always wanted in the gym with some weights, whilst you maintain your fitness with the ski-erg. You can do this with our without physiotherapy.

Active Recovery

It’s often forgotten that the most effective training includes rest and recovery. Periods of outright rest are obviously essential, but active-recovery workouts in your program can make you fitter and stronger than somebody who gets too much rest. This is particularly true if you are training more rigorously for a running or endurance event.

Enjoying other activities

The strong heart and good lungs you've gained as a bootcamp lover or CrossFitter could serve you equally well in cycling, cross-country skiing, and other endurance sports.

And at the same you can make new friends, have more fun and build your self-confidence while you try new things. You may even find your next new passion.

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Ways to cross-train with UFIT:

You don't need to go very far to keep your training interesting and fulfill your fitness and mobility needs. We've got it all right here!

1. Get stronger with weights at the gym or CrossFit

2. Enhance your fitness and endurance with Bootcamps or CrossFit

3. Energise, strengthen or mobilIse with physio-based PT or yoga.

Party Time!

It's the middle of the year and a perfect time to throw a few parties before the summer holidays hit.

Almost 70 ladies from right across the UFIT community left their guys at home and gathered for a fun night at Lucha Loco Duxton Hill.

Coaches and clients mingled over bubbles and margaritas - sharing stories and meeting friends new and old from right across the bootcamp, PT and CrossFit communities.

Check out the photos below

one north Clinic Opens

On Thursday evening it was party time again as we celebrated the opening of our new Clinic in one north’s Galaxis building. It was wonderful to see so many of our existing community members there and a massive thank you to all those that came to support Dec, Ste and their amazing teams.

Check out the photos below

KIDS COACHING TO BUILD GREAT ATHLETES

UFIT recently formed a collaboration with THE FRY GROUP - who provide tax-led financial advice for British expats in Singapore - and won the International Adviser Best Practice Awards Singapore 2016 by Best Adviser. They're inviting all UFIT clients to meet them and attend their highly informative Tax Tips Seminars at the end of June.

Not only does The Fry Group provide an important and valuable service to us as adults, they share our passion for kids' fitness. Recently they hosted a Lions rugby training session for kids from the SCC Rugby Academy, Dulwich College and Tanglin Trust School, featuring three rugby legends - Peter Winterbottom, Fergus Slattery and Justin Marshall. The kids got to learn and practice key skills and listen to stories based on the players' international experience.

DON'T FORGET UFIT KIDS' CAMPS ARE BACK THIS JULY AND AUGUST!

Let your kids improve their athletic ability by participating in different sports whilst continuing to develop their main sport. They will train with Singapore's top strength and conditioning coaches and have fun with new friends while doing that!

ATHLETE DEVELOPMENT CAMP - 10 to 14 July

RUGBY DEVELOPMENT CAMP - 17 to 21 July and 14 to 18 August

Dan Norton, the England 7’s superstar and Team GB Olympian will be making guest appearances and running coaching clinics during the camp on 17 to 21 July. His presence electrified the kids last year and he will inspire the boys and girls with his enthusiasm and knowledge of the game.

 

 

FIVE WAYS TO EAT WELL OVER THE HOLIDAYS

When we travel or have overseas visitors we can fall off the bandwagon with healthy eating. But by being realistic and planning we can have fun - and stay relatively healthy. UFIT Head of Nutrition Wendy Riddell tells us how with five easy tips...

1. Plan to keep your weight stable

Don't try to lose weight over the holidays, or else you are setting yourself up for failure. If you can be consistent and maintain where you are at now, you're doing great.

2. Be 70% good

Try to eat well for 70% of the time, and for the remaining 30% have fun as you are on holidays after all.

3. Take healthy snacks with you

Take some healthy snacks with you wherever you go to keep you away from the sugary processed ones you can only buy when you're out and about.

4. Keep hydrated

Take a water bottle with you when you go out and try to drink at least 3 litres a day. That will keep you feeling full and curb your appetite when you buy something naughty in desperate hunger.

5. Be kind to yourself

Don't feel guilty if you fall off the wagon. We're only human. And if we stress too much about eating the wrong food we'll be more likely to eat more of it.

And if you really screw it up - or want to keep up the great work you've already achieved - remember to sign up for the next UFIT Clean & Lean Challenge starting 26 August.

DATE FOR YOUR DIARY:

26 AUGUST for START OF UFIT CLEAN & LEAN 16

Fitting fitness into your busy schedule

Will Foden, Personal Trainer at UFIT Amoy Street shares his strategies for getting the balance right.

We have all heard it before. "I didn't have time"’, "I couldn’t", "It's not the right time", "I'll do it later". Sound familiar? 

In this busy day and age time is money. But what I can’t understand is how people forget their own health to make an extra buck. 

Being healthy should be one of the most important things on your agenda. If you're a hundred percent in the room then you can work optimally as well as enjoy what you're doing outside of work. This should incorporate all three parameters of fitness - physical, psychological and emotional well being. This takes work to achieve, but here are simple guidelines to use when planning for this:

Food prepping

This doesn’t mean you have to be making 5kg of boiled chicken and broccoli for three days worth of food. Food prepping is meant to be a convenience not a chore. 

If you work in a busy business you probably won't have time to eat 5 full ‘optimal’ meals per day. Aim for 5-6 protein sources per day, whether that's eggs in the morning to having a protein bar as a snack. 

Also if finance isn’t a worry sourcing a meal prep company could be the way forward. Not having to worry about cooking takes a huge burden off your shoulders if time is of the essence. 

Activity level

If you want to be ‘ripped’ or ‘shredded’ the harsh reality is that you are going to have to commit time to train for that 3 to 5 times per week. There's no quick 4 minute abs workout that will give you the gains you see on Instagram or in Mens' Health magazine. That by no means has to all be in the gym. Being healthy is a long term lifestyle adjustment. 

By increasing your output you will be burning more calories throughout your day. Even if you train 5 days a week for an hour, there's still 163 hours a week where activity is as important. 

Aim for 10,000 steps per day (buy a Fitbit or use your phone) this can be achieved by walking 20mins to get lunch rather than having your lunch delivered.

Prepare a go to snack

There's always going to be that time where work or life gets in the way of your eating priorities. But having a protein bar in your bag or some almonds is essential for those times where life gets in the way. Biltong in my eyes is king. Red meat is satiating as well as tastes amazing, it's low calorie and high in protein. Perfect to fit in your bag or have in a meeting without disturbing everyone with tubs of leftovers from the night before. 

Get into a routine

Many busy businessmen and women that I deal with use this as an excuse: "I forgot to eat" comes up daily. "No you mean that it's not a priority" is my response. If you actually sit down, think about actually what you want from your training or fitness goals then building a routine around that is the key to being successful. Sourcing a trainer who can accommodate a time where you can’t make an excuse not to come. Sourcing a meal prep company or a restaurant to prepare your meals for the day. Making sure that you make yourself accountable for your actions will help with creating a routine to adhere to. 

Pull the trigger

Stop talking about it and get on with it. How many people do you know that sit there and moan about not being unfit, overweight or in bad shape? It's boring and its not an excuse.

Why spend half your life sacrificing your health for money, and for the second part of your life spending that money trying to get your health back?

It's simple, sit down and write down what you want to achieve. Then put down what steps it's going to take. Sure there will be compromises but don’t block yourself off by talking yourself out of it or worrying about the optimal end goal. Find a coach who has a great reputation for achieving similar goals to what you want or need. Then sit with them and figure out mini milestones to achieve throughout your time with them. This will break your ultimate goal into digestible chunks. These mini goals will ultimately build into creating your main goal. 

Don’t try achieve things that are not YOUR goal. Aim high and put one foot in front of the other and that goal in the distance will get a whole lot closer. 

If you need any tips, help or just some ideas feel free to give me a shout and Ill get back to you as soon as possible.

Check out Will Foden at UFIT Amoy Street or follow Will on LinkedIn - or contact us to arrange a free Personal Training trial with him. 

 

BRING YOUR WEIGHTLIFTING SKILLS TO THE NEXT LEVEL

BECOME A BETTER ATHLETE * BECOME A BETTER COACH

Enhance your technical and practical weightlifting skills with coaching from the master himself – Dmitry Klokov - the most sought-after Russian Pro Weightlifter and two time Gold Medal Champion. Come face to face with, and learn from the man who lifted 432kg which won him a silver medal in the 2008 Olympics.

In these small groups, hear Klokov's stories and insights from his experience since lifting from a young age as the son of a weightlifting champion. Let him coach you personally on the latest and greatest methods for maximising strength and power, safely and effectively. 

As Klokov's first visit to Singapore, this is an exclusive opportunity for you to get his guidance on weightlifting movement fundamentals, correct technique, mental strategies and getting the balance between training and recovery right. 

Find out more

Seminar details

  • Practical Olympic weightlifting coaching focusing on the snatch and clean & jerk, based on the Russian system of training, which can be considered as one of many training strategies

  • Correct technique in Olympic lifting and other accessory lifts

  • Ways to maximize your potential as a lifter while progressing quickly yet as safely as possible

  • For both beginners and advanced lifters, either for personal enrichment or to enhance your chosen sport

  • A must for CrossFit athletes, strength coaches, personal trainers or anyone interested in how to make the human body stronger and more powerful.

Seminar dates

  • 29 and 30 June from 5pm

  • 1 July from 9am 

  • 2 July from 9am.

Find out how to join the Weightlifting Legend in Singapore

 

** HOW UFIT's "H" FIRST MET KLOKOV **